When it comes to getting started as a professional photographer, there are some tools you can’t go without. Of course you probably have more than one camera, one of which is sure to be a video camera, but there are various tools and accessories that you will need as well. Some of these are just basic items while others are a bit more specialised. Whether you are a hobbyist looking to turn pro or a student intent on studying photography, here are tools that every photographer needs.


Most good quality cameras will usually have at least one wide angle lens and if you haven’t purchased one yet, you had better start looking around. However, there may be times that you want to shoot a panoramic type still with neat intentional distortions and will need an extreme wide angle lens to do this. If you are going to shoot mostly portrait shots, it might not be necessary but if you are going to shoot random shots while mobile, an extreme wide angle lens is a must.


As mentioned, every photographer should have at least one good quality digital camera, the higher the quality, the better for you as a pro. Those new to the field may not know that DSLR stands for ‘digital single lens reflex’ and this type of camera uses digital imaging. Obviously the images are stored either in internal memory or on a memory card, so you will want to have plenty of memory on the cards you buy.


One of the really cool things about digital photography is the ease in which images can be edited. Some digital cameras come with a software suite but that may be insufficient for your purposes. If you are going to go pro, get imaging software used by the pros. Also, you may want to look at getting your hands on camera photo recovery software in the event that important images are inadvertently deleted. This happens more often than you care to think about and why you should ensure having the ability to recover images if necessary. What happens if you lose the images on an important shoot before you can upload them to your computer? Not a pretty thought at all!


At first you will probably be setting up a very small studio so you will need at least one good tripod, a nice white backdrop and good lighting. Some beginning photographers utilize several different ‘seasonal’ type backdrops, especially if they are going to do children’s portraits around the holidays. It is a good investment and one you might want to make sooner, rather than later. Parents love to have their children’s pictures taken by a professional photographer so you can almost be assured of making a decent living doing holiday shoots of children.

These are just a few of the basics, but if you are planning to make photography a career, it’s time to start getting your tools in order. Each of these are a ‘must have’ for a professional photographer and should be purchased before those fancy accessories. You’ll be thankful you did.

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